Last week, Jerry Seinfeld appeared on the ESPN radio show The Herd with Colin Cowherd to promote his web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. During the segment, Cowherd tells Seinfeld that he’s spoken with comedians like Chris Rock and Larry the Cable Guy who refuse to perform at college campuses.
“I hear that all the time,” Seinfeld said. “A lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges, they’re so PC.’”
Seinfeld then shares a related anecdote about his 14-year-old daughter, Sascha. “My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple of years, I think maybe you’ll want to hang in the City more on the weekends so you can see boys.’”
Sascha replied, “That’s sexist.”
“They just want to use these words,” said Seinfeld. “That’s ‘racist’, that’s ‘sexist,’ that’s ‘prejudiced.’ They don’t even [know] what they’re taking about.”
Seinfeld then states that this climate of political correctness hurts comedy as an art form, and that it affects comedians like Artie Lange, who felt he wasn’t given the space to make light of Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover story, and Louie C.K.
Listen to Seinfeld’s segment below:
Bill Maher took the issue up on his show with comedian Jeffrey Ross, who defended Seinfeld, although I found it to be pretty underwhelming.
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.